Catholic doctrine regarding the Ten Commandments refers to the official teaching of the Catholic Church in their Catechism, concerning the Commandments listed in Exodus 20:1–17 and Deuteronomy 5:2–21, which are part of the covenant between God and the Israelites. Catholicism teaches that the commandments are essential for spiritual good health and growth, and that they form the basis for social justice. A review of the Commandments is one of the most common types of examination of conscience used by Catholics before receiving the sacrament of Penance.
The Commandments appear in the earliest Church writings; the Catechism states that they have "occupied a predominant place" in teaching the faith since the time of Saint Augustine (AD 354–430). The Church had no official standards for religious instruction until the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215; evidence suggests the Commandments were used in Christian education in the Early Church and throughout the Middle Ages, but with inconsistent emphasis. The lack of instruction in them by some dioceses formed the basis of one of the criticisms launched against the Church by Protestant reformers. Afterward, the first Church-wide catechism in 1566 provided "thorough discussions of each commandment", but gave greater emphasis to the seven sacraments. The most recent Catechism devotes a large section to interpret each of the commandments.
Church teaching of the Commandments is largely based on the Old and New Testaments and the writings of the early Church Fathers. In the New Testament, Jesus acknowledged their validity and instructed his disciples to go further, demanding a righteousness exceeding that of the scribes and Pharisees. Summarized by Jesus into two "Great Commandments" that teach love of God and love of neighbor, they instruct individuals on their relationships with both. The first three commandments demand respect for God's name, observation of the Lord's Day and prohibit the worship of other gods. The others deal with the relationships between individuals, such as that between parent and child; they include prohibitions against lying, stealing, murdering, adultery and covetousness.
Read more about Catholic Doctrine Regarding The Ten Commandments: Numbering, History, First Commandment, Second Commandment, Third Commandment, Fourth Commandment, Fifth Commandment, Sixth Commandment, Seventh Commandment, Eighth Commandment, Ninth Commandment, Tenth Commandment
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